Charley M. Wu


I'm a Postdoc at Harvard University working jointly with Fiery Cushman and Sam Gershman. Previously, I completed my PhD at the Center for Adaptive Rationality at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin.

My research is primarily concerned with understanding how people learn under uncertainty. Whereas optimal solutions are generally unobtainable in real-world environments, humans are able to learn with unrivaled robustness and efficiency. How do people take overwhelmingly rich and complex problems and transform them into compressed representations that facilitate rapid inference and generalization?

My work uses a combination of statistical and machine learning models to uncover the computational principles behind human learning and inference. I also often use biologically inspired multi-agent systems for studying social learning and collective intelligence. My work has so far focused on three main branches of learning: efficient exploration guided by generalization, learning by asking useful questions, and social learning in the context of different information sharing dynamics.

You can download my CV here.

Research Interests

My current research interests include:


Before starting my PhD in 2016, I completed an M.Sc. in Cognitive Science at the University of Vienna, where I was affiliated with the Austrian Institute for Artificial Intelligence (OFAI). Prior to that, I was trained in Philosophy at the University of British Columbia. Currently, I identify as a Cognitive Scientist, but dabble in Computational Neuroscience, Machine Learning, and Computational Biology.


Email : charleymswu[at]gmail[dot]com[de]

Charley M. Wu

Harvard University

William James Hall 1406

33 Kirkland St.

Cambridge, MA 02138